Aug 062013

The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday assured the public that no part of the three batches of whey protein concentrate from New Zealand reportedly contaminated with clostridium botulinum are among the dairy products and infant formulas sold in the country.

FDA head Kenneth Hartigan-Go said Fonterra-branded consumer products in the Philippines do not contain the batches of WPC80. These include Anchor, Anlene, Anmum, Mainland, and Perfect Italiano.

In Advisory No. 2013-022, the FD chief said they have coordinated with the local importer-distributor of Fonterra Brands (Phils.) Inc. about the three batches of whey protein concentrate.

The FDA “will be collecting samples in the market for testing as part of its monitoring and surveillance activities,” Hartigan-Go said in the advisory.

Hartigan-Go also urged mothers nursing their infants to continue breastfeeding since it is the safest milk for their babies.

He also said clostridium botulinum is a species of harmful spore-forming bacteria that produce toxin in processed food products.

The contamination happens when manufacturing or processing plants do not implement proper food hygienic practices and sterilization of canned goods or any tightly sealed food products.

“Ingestion of preformed toxin may result to symptoms like double vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and muscle weakness that is symmetric and descends through the body and possibly death, usually due to respiratory failure. Thus, the pathogenic bacteria are also known as ‘canned goods bacilli’ that causes ‘flaccid paralysis,'” he said.

“All consumers are advised to buy dairy products and infant formulae that are registered with the FDA. Moreover, all consumers are hereby informed that whey protein concentrates are also found in high-nutrient food or dietary supplements for body builders,” the FDA chief reminded.

He said consumer should make sure that the food and drug products they buy have passed FDA safety and quality evaluation by logging in to the FDA website (,” he added.

At the website, consumers can use the SEARCH tab found in the upper right hand corner of the screen and type in the product name.

Meanwhile, he said the public may report any adverse reactions from consuming any particular food product via email at  — ELR, GMA News

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